Aug 1, 2022
Third presentation in the Drought Management Series focusing on Supplementation Decisions. Dr. Jason Smith and Dr. Justin Benavidez discuss decisions related to supplementation and economic decisions during a drought. Tremendous in-depth discussion regarding decisions and considerations while moving through drought conditions.
Dr. Smith got into why we might decide to supplement. What are some reasons to supplement? 1) you have a nutrient void because of lack of forage 2) you want to preserve and stretch your forages 3) you might need to improve the utilization of your forages. He discusses "associative effects of supplementation" and how one size does not fit all. He and Dr. Steffens had a very interesting discussion about the role of fat and products to meet the needs of cows. He touched on important consideration when considering supplementation such as; work with a nutritionist, goal of sustaining operation through a drought, additional experiences/savings, and most economic decisions on need and supplement value. We discussed tools available to make decisions, hidden cost of supplementation, Ionophores, mineral/vitamin requirements, creep feeding, alternative forage options, hay quality, and water quality.
Dr. Benavidez discussed market trends and future market considerations based on history, supply, and future demand. Inventory vs. price, cost of feeding calves vs. on grass, retained ownership opportunities, grain and hay stocks going forward, and the economics of all of these decisions. I think you will find some opportunities from Dr. Benavidez discussion.